Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Preview #3

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

The Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Core Rulebook is set to release on August 13th, 2009, and in anticipation, we are releasing a preview of the game each week until the game hits store shelves. This week, we are taking a look at Seoni, the iconic sorcerer.

Female human sorcerer 10
Init +2; Senses Perception +11
AC 23, touch 15, flat-footed 20; (+4 armor, +2 deflection, +2 Dex, +1 dodge, +4 shield)
hp 57 (10d6+20)
Fort +6, Ref +7, Will +12
DR 10/adamantine
Spd 30 ft.
Melee staff of fire +4 (1d6–1)
Ranged ray +7 (by spell)
Special Attacks metamagic adept (2/day)
Spells Known (CL 10th)
5th (4/day)—cone of cold (DC 22)
4th (6/day, 5 remaining)—dimension door, ice storm, stoneskin, wall of fire
3rd (7/day)—dispel magic, fly, haste, lightning bolt (DC 20)
2nd (7/day, 6 remaining)—invisibility, mirror image, resist energy, scorching ray, web (DC 17)
1st (8/day, 7 remaining)—burning hands (DC 18), enlarge person, identify, mage armor, magic missile, shield
0 (at will)—acid splash, arcane mark, daze (DC 15), detect magic, light, mage hand, prestidigitation, ray of frost, read magic
Statistics Str 8, Dex 14, Con 12, Int 10, Wis 16, Cha 20
Base Atk +5; CMB +4; CMD 19
Feats Alertness (from familiar), Dodge, Eschew Materials, Extend Spell, Greater Spell Focus (evocation), Quicken Spell, Spell Focus (evocation), Spell Penetration, Still Spell
Skills Bluff +14, Climb +2, Fly +11 (+16 using fly), Knowledge (local) +9, Perception +11, Spellcraft +9
Languages Common
SQ arcane bloodline, arcane bond (familiar, lizard), bloodline arcana (+1 DC to metamagic spells)
Combat Gear lesser metamagic rod of empower, potion of cure serious wounds (2), scroll of greater dispel magic, scroll of wall of force; Other Gear cloak of resistance +2, headband of mental prowess +2 (Wis and Cha), ring of feather falling, ring of protection +2, slippers of spider climbing, staff of fire

Starting off, Seoni has a few precast spells, whose effects are already calculated in as part of her stat block, including an extended shield, mage armor, and stoneskin. She could increase these protections with haste, mirror image, and resist energy if given a few rounds to prepare.

As a sorcerer, Seoni can choose from one of ten different bloodlines. We chose the arcane bloodline, which is the default bloodline for existing 3.5 sorcerers as it is the only bloodline that grants a familiar. All bloodlines grant a number of bonuses as the sorcerer gains levels, such as additional spells known (Seoni receives identify at 3rd level, invisibility at 5th level, dispel magic at 7th level, and dimension door at 9th level), a bonus class skill (Seoni receives a free Knowledge skill of her choice), and a number of special bloodline powers (which we will talk about in a bit). New to the final version of the game is bloodline arcana. Each bloodline now grants a special bonus to a specific group of spells. In Seoni's case, any time she casts a metamagic version of a spell that increases the level by at least 1, the DC of that spell increases by +1 (total, not per level increased). This means that if Seoni casts a still lightning bolt the DC to halve the damage is increased to 21. Other bloodlines grant similar abilities. For example, the destined bloodline grants the sorcerer a luck bonus on saving throws for 1 round whenever she casts a spell with a range of personal.

In addition to the arcane bond ability (which allows Seoni to have a familiar), the arcane bloodline grants two additional abilities. The first is metamagic adept, which allows her to cast metamagic spells without increasing their casting time. At her current level, she can use this ability twice per day. It should be noted that quicken spell has been changed to allow sorcerers to use it without increasing the casting time, meaning that Seoni can save her metamagic adept ability for extended and still spells. The second ability is new arcana, which grants Seoni an additional spell known (she chose stoneskin).

If we were to continue to advance Seoni, she would receive a school power at 15th level, which would grant her a +2 bonus to the DC of all spells from one school of magic. At 20th level, she would undergo an arcane apotheosis, which would allow her to cast any metamagic spell without increasing the casting time and allow her to burn spell slots to power magic items that expend charges.

Moving on, we get to Seoni's spell list. There have been a few changes to some of these spells, mostly to make them simpler to use, but in some cases to increase their power a bit. Ice storm, for example, deals the same amount of damage, but now also includes an effect that makes the area difficult terrain and imposes a penalty on Perception checks.

Of all the spells in the game, none has the power to bring things screeching to a halt faster than dispel magic. Not only did this spell take a while to adjudicate, it also forced the target to recalculate a host of statistics if the spell was particularly successful. Now dispel magic requires only a single caster check, and the result is applied to all the spells active on the target. It dispels the spell with the highest caster level that it can affect. While this reduces its power a bit (although it no longer has the +10 limit to the check), it makes the spell a whole lot easier to use. Greater dispel magic still allows you to strip off multiple spells, but it too only requires a single check. It dispels one spell per four caster levels, taking out the spells with the highest caster level that it can effect. I should note that you can still use either one of these spells to target a specific spell to end that effect, allowing you to try and knock out the enemy's fly or stoneskin when it really counts.

Mirror image has also received a bit of a facelift, making it simpler to use. Take a look.

Mirror Image
School illusion (figment); Level bard 2, sorcerer/wizard 2
Casting Time 1 standard action
Components V, S
Range personal
Target you
Duration 1 min./level

This spell creates a number of illusory doubles of you that inhabit your square. These doubles make it difficult for enemies to precisely locate and attack you.

When mirror image is cast, 1d4 images plus one image per three caster levels (maximum eight images total) are created. These images remain in your space and move with you, mimicking your movements, sounds, and actions exactly. Whenever you are attacked or are the target of a spell that requires an attack roll, there is a possibility that the attack targets one of your images instead. If the attack is a hit, roll randomly to see whether the selected target is real or a figment. If it is a figment, the figment is destroyed. If the attack misses by 5 or less, one of your figments is destroyed by the near miss. Area spells affect you normally and do not destroy any of your figments. Spells and effects that do not require an attack roll affect you normally and do not destroy any of your figments. Spells that require a touch attack are harmlessly discharged if used to destroy a figment.

An attacker must be able to see the figments to be fooled. If you are invisible or the attacker is blind, the spell has no effect (although the normal miss chances still apply).

I also want to take a moment to talk about Seoni's staff of fire. Like the previous rules for staves, Seoni can cast all the spells in the staff using her caster level (10th) instead of the staff's, which is only 8th. She can also use her Charisma modifier and feat bonuses when calculating the save DCs. Staves in the new rules contain a total of 10 charges, but they can be recharged. Once per day, Seoni can expend a 4th level spell slot (the highest level spell contained in the staff of fire) to add 1 charge to the staff. Most of the staves have been rebuilt to work within these new rules.

That is about all for this week. Next week Harsk comes stomping on to the stage as we take a look at the iconic ranger. I hear he has favored terrain (the internet), so we better watch out!

Jason Bulmahn
Lead Designer

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Tags: Iconics Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Seoni Sorcerers Wayne Reynolds
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